LONDON: Karolina Pliskova became the new world number one on Tuesday — despite tumbling out of Wimbledon in the second round and never having won a Grand Slam.
The 25-year-old Czech will jump up from third place to the top of the post-Wimbledon rankings on Monday after world number two Simona Halep lost to Johanna Konta in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Combined with current world number one Angelique Kerber falling in the fourth round, Pliskova’s points for reaching round two are enough to see her scrape to the top of the world rankings.
Pliskova becomes number one without ever having lifted one of the four majors in tennis.
She nonetheless reached the US Open final last year, the French Open semi-finals this year and has won four tour titles in the last calendar year: Cincinnati, Brisbane, Doha and Eastbourne.
Halep would have become the new number one had she beaten Konta and made the semi-finals.
“To be crowned the WTA number one player in the world is the ultimate accolade in our sport, and I would like to send my warmest congratulations to Karolina on this incredible achievement,” said WTA chairman Steve Simon.
“Karolina is an exemplary athlete on and off the court and she truly deserves this fantastic moment in her career.”
She becomes the the 23rd woman overall to top the computer rankings since they were introduced in 1975, and the first from the Czech Republic to do so. Martina Navratilova had defected from Czechoslovakia to the United States by the time she first hit number one in 1978.
Steffi Graf has spent the most weeks at number one (377), followed by Navratilova (332) and Serena Williams (319).
After reaching the semi-finals, Konta will be in the top five for the first time, while Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza will be back in the top 10.